Category Archives: Seasonal Celebrations

8 Must-Watch Movies For Halloween

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Fall is the best season of the year, if I do say so myself! The leaves change colors and turn crunchy, you can have unlimited amounts of hot apple cider, and the intense anticipation of Halloween is always really exciting.

If you’re like me, you’re probably planning some time in front of the television to watch some of your favorite and/or new movies that are perfectly fitting for this time of year: thrillers, horrors, and anything Halloween or autumn related.

Well, grab your popcorn and a blanket for these must-watch Halloween movies:

1. Sinister

Ethan Hawke plays a writer who moves his family into a house with an attic containing a special box of film. He starts to watch the movies, which is his first big mistake. This is my number one scariest movie ever! It was so scary that I came out of the movie theater with a bad headache. And did I mention I saw this in daylight?

2. The Sixth Sense

It’s the classic starring Bruce Willis as a psychologist who helps a little boy with a secret. The secret is the little boy can see dead people. It just wouldn’t be Halloween without it!

3. Hocus Pocus

The Disney oldie, but goodie, still airs every October, so add it to your list! The Sanderson Sisters are back after a boy lights “the black-flame candle.” Mayhem ensues!

4. Orphan

Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard play a couple mourning the loss of their unborn child. They decide to adopt a 9-year-old Russian girl named Esther. This is number two on my top 5 scariest movies list. Isabelle Fuhrman won everyone over with her haunting portrayal of Esther.

5. Frailty

Two boys struggle with their relationship with their father who is highly religious and believes God is commanding he kill demons “disguised” as people. The boys witness things that make this the perfect psychological thriller. Just what are they seeing? Watch to find out!

6. Psycho

Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without Alfred Hitchcock. It’s the movie the TV show Bates Motel was based off of. There’s an underlying creepiness to Norman, one of our main characters, that’ll have your mind spinning the whole way through.

7. The Conjuring

Some see this as a joke; others see it as legit scary. It follows the same old tried and true storyline: a family moves into an old house with a tumultuous history and soon realizes their house is haunted, etc. In the beginning, the family is playing Marco Polo by clapping (Marco claps once, Polo claps twice), only when the mom claps, it isn’t her children who claps back.

8. Jeepers Creepers

A brother and sister are driving home from school break on an isolated country road when they see something they wish they hadn’t: someone dumping a body down a pipe. Turns out it’s a creature awake from the dead to do its ritualistic eating. This one is a must, especially since Jeepers Creepers 3 is slated to start filming early next year!

Which Halloween movies are your favorites? Share with us in the comments!

Happy Halloween!

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Creative DIY Halloween Costumes

Filed under: College Life, DIY & Crafts, Fashion, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

If you’ve ever bought a packaged Halloween costume at a store, you know first-hand that it’s usually not worth spending of all that money. It’s like buying a bridal gown: it’s something you’ll only wear once (unless you decided to reuse your gown as a zombie bride costume) and pay a lot of money for (granted, not as much for a costume as a gown, but you get my point). Making your own costume is often much cheaper and it adds a fun creative element, which will instill a sense of pride in your costume that money can’t buy. Besides, college students need every way possibly to save money.

Consider these options and tweak as you see fit:

1. Cardboard Armor

Whether you want to look like a roman centurion, a transformer, or a knight of the round table, you can always make some sweet armor out of cardboard. Get some scissors and some glue, plan out your costume design either by following an online template or freehand, and then get to work! It’s a classic college costume design that saves money and recycles leftover cardboard! Be sure to throw your costume in a recycling bin afterwards too.

2. Thrift Stores

Goodwill, Savers, the Salvation Army… Any and all thrift stores are great options to find cheap clothing that you can alter to look like a costume. One year I dressed up as Charlie Sheen’s character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I found a leather jacket at a local thrift shop as well as some ratty jeans that I could tear up to look like a greaser. In total, it cost me $8 – a steal compared to a store bought greaser costume which can cost upwards of $40! All I needed after that was to style my hair and get some makeup for exaggerated effect; which brings me to my next point…

3. Makeup

Yes, you can even do your own makeup without having to buy actual monster makeup. Now if you’re female, chances are you have some sort of experience with this. However, I am male and therefore have no idea about the world of makeup. So I asked my one of my female friends to do it for me! She did such good work that I was questioned by a police officer as I was on my way to my friend’s apartment that night. The point is: it’s still DIY even if you ask for help and you don’t need to buy anything marketed as a ‘Halloween product’ to have a killer costume.

4. Turn to Pop Culture for Ideas

If you still don’t know what to dress up as, a good bet is to parody something in the media. Some examples include but are not limited to: Donald Trump’s hair, a Californian Astronaut going to Mars in search of water. Or Mad Scientist Bernie Sanders. Group costumes are always great too with a bunch of friends: Power Rangers, a flock of penguins, hair metal band, etc.

Share what you will be dressing up as this Halloween in a comment below! Whatever it is, hope you have fun!

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8 Things To Do Before The Summer Ends

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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron TranchemontagneDid you start off this summer with a huge list of summer activities you wanted to complete before the season ends? Summer is almost over, so if you haven’t taken an opportunity to enjoy it yet, make sure you do so soon! Make this summer memorable and fun!

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer by doing some of the following:

1. Hiking

I could be very biased because I’m from New Hampshire and have unlimited access to the breathtaking White Mountains, but I think hiking is a much underrated summer activity. It’s great because it lets you reconnect with nature, it’s very healthy cardio, and often times the destination is worth the trek. One of my favorite summer memories is hiking up to Zealand Falls to see the beautiful views on the summit, and then stopping at the waterfall on the way back for a refreshing swim in the pool below. Its best to go with at least one other person, but anything beyond a group of four can get hectic. Make sure you pack a lunch, snacks, plenty of water, sunscreen, and plenty of bug spray.

2. Camping

This one and hiking almost go hand in hand, and they’re fun for the same reasons. Go camping without an RV, trust me, it’s a whole different experience. You can either drive out to a campsite and park your car at your designated site, or you can venture into the woods with all your gear on your back. I usually go to a state park that allows camping because it is the perfect mix of civilization and wilderness. Bring a tent – of course – and either some inflatable mattresses or foam squares to lay on the ground to make sleeping more comfortable. There will likely be a fire pit and maybe a grill there, but consider bringing your own personal grill and a small tank of propane. Depending on where you go, they may have bathroom facilities, but it’s always best to check ahead of time so you can plan out what you need to bring and what you don’t. Also, check out my last blog about summer camping hacks.

3. Family Reunions

Haven’t seen your cousins, aunts, and uncles in a while? Why not have a family reunion? My family does this every year and in the 40 years that it’s been around, it has become one of the most widely anticipated events of the year in our family. It’s always the first weekend in August and everyone in the extended family is invited for a surf n’ turf cookout complete with lawn games, music, and good company. It’s always good to reconnect with the family members you haven’t seen in a while.

4. Sun Bathing

Yes, it’s not too late to go outside and get a tan. This is an activity with lots of multitasking opportunity. You can read, talk on the phone, take a nap, listen to music, etc. all while laying outside. Just remember to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated if it’s hot!

5. Fairs

Ever been to a fair? They’re pretty fun, right? If you haven’t been to the fair, rest assured, it’s pretty fun. There are lots of fairs that happen at different times in different places, but end of the summer into early fall is usually a fair-filled season. There are games, rides, and often times even a petting zoo! Not to mention all the fair food that is delicious and terrible for you (I highly recommend the deep-fried Oreos). You may even get to see some fireworks while you’re there!

6. Outdoor Entertainment

Does your town have a park? Do they sometimes host concerts, theatre productions, or movies in that park? If they do you should consider going to one! It’s just like going to all that stuff normally, but outside! Often times the movies shown at outdoor venues are indie movies or documentaries that you wouldn’t get to see in a commercial movie theater. Most of the time, the concerts feature relatively unknown bands who aren’t big yet, but might be in 5 years or so and then you’ll get to say, “I saw them play 5 years ago at a park in my town” and everyone will think you’re so trendy and ahead of the curve.

7. Museums

If you can find a museum about something you are genuinely interested in or just want to know more about, then prepare to have a super fun day of learning (yes, that is possible). Typically the exhibits at science museums will feature something mind-blowing and/or interactive. Art museums are less interactive but may have some very awe-inspiring pieces if you’re an art lover. There are also more specific museums dedicated to a certain topic or person. For example, if you are in Virginia you can visit Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, where you can tour the house and the grounds to see what life was like on the property. You’ll see everything and gain more of an appreciation for a little piece of American history.

8. Amusement Parks

Although the lines and the ticket prices can be a hassle, it’s usually a fun day whenever you go to an amusement park. The rides are thrilling, the games are entertaining, and the food is cardboard (so pack your own lunch). I also include zoos and aquariums in this category because often times amusement parks will have their own zoos or aquariums, like Busch Gardens in Florida or the York Wild Kingdom in Maine. And if you think about it, zoos and aquariums are essentially nature-museums operated like a theme park. If you can’t find a theme park within driving distance of you, see option #5.

If all else fails you could always go play in the sprinkler (maybe?). Whatever you do with these last few weeks of summer, have fun and appreciate each day. School will be back in session before you know it!

What is the best thing you’ve done this summer? Share in a comment below!

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Summer Camping Hacks

Filed under: DIY & Crafts, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron Tranchemontagne

If you’re like me, you went camping with your family when you were a kid. And you loved every second of it. Being from New Hampshire, I kind of had to learn to love the outdoors. There is so much the outdoors can offer, which is a good thing since it can bring you closer to nature and further away from your couch.

For those of you who aren’t like me and have little experience sleeping in a tent and cooking meals over a campfire, turn to this guide for some summer camping hacks to make your transition into the wild a little bit easier. And don’t worry; your couch will still be there for you to crash on after you’ve had your fill of nature.

Foam Floor Tiles

Just because you pitch a tent in a flat area of land does not mean it will be comfortable to sleep on. Tents provide no cushioning between you and the ground. A lot of people like to use air mattresses but those can be bulky, time consuming to inflate, and sometimes expensive. If you want to save money and space in your car, you can buy some foam floor tiles to provide a flat cushion to roll a sleeping bag out on.

The Jug-O-Light

Need a lantern, but don’t want to spend the money? Or maybe if you forget to pack the lantern… Fill up a gallon container with water and attach a headlamp to it with the light facing in. The entire jug should light up by reflecting the light.

Campfire Crescent Rolls

Got a craving for some crescent rolls, but you don’t have a stove because you’re in the middle of nowhere? Don’t worry – you can make crescent rolls on a stick over a fire much like you would with a marshmallow! You can even fill them with marshmallows and chocolate for a delicious and flaky spin on the classic ‘smores.

Portable Hanging Hooks

Get yourself that belt you’ve had since you were 14 but have since outgrown and left hanging in your closet, and put it to some use! Wrap a belt tightly around a tree, insert some hooks, and you’ve got yourself a place to hang wet clothes, pots and pans, or anything else you can think of.

DIY Fire Starters

Let me first start off by saying that fire is not something to play around with by any means. Forgetting how dangerous it can be is how forest fires are often started. But camping just wouldn’t be the same without a toasty, nightly campfire to gather around. Instead of using lighter fluid, consider using an egg carton filled with charcoal briquettes. Simply place the carton under the dry firewood and light both sides; you’ll have a good blaze within minutes. Also, Doritos can be used as a very effective kindling too.

Smoky Bug Repellent

First find some sage. You can either buy it in a grocery store or in a specialty plant store before your trip, or if you’re lucky you might be able to find some near your campsite. Bundle up the sage with some sticks and stick it in your campfire. As it burns, the smoke will deter insects without all those nasty chemicals.

Hopefully these summer camping hacks can make you a pro-camper in no time!

Share your camping hacks with us in a comment below!

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6 Ways To Stay Cool This Summer

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Summer is a wonderful season for a college student. Classes are usually over, there is generally more free time, the daylight hours are longer, what’s not to like about summer? Well… maybe the heat?

If it gets to be too hot, and you’re in need of some cooling relief, try these ideas:

1. Freeze Your Pillow

If you have a larger pillow, this might not work if your freezer is pretty packed, but smaller pillows work perfectly. Cover up your pillow with a plastic bag and then stashed in the freezer for several minutes. Or, there’s always the option of going full-blown infomercial and buying the Chillow. Either way, you will rest-assured have a pillow to help minimize those night sweats!

2. Change Your Sheets

If your bedroom gets stuffy and warm in the evening, the best bet is to go for silk and satin sheets and blankets. They’re smoother and tend to stay cool, unlike cotton and flannel which are better for the winter months since they retain heat. Bonus: silk and satin are better to help prevent split ends and frizzy hair!

3. Neck Wraps And Headbands

If your workplace tends to get pretty warm, or you’re heading out for the day in the heat, try a stylish neck wrap, which you can stash in your freezer before you head out. They’re available for purchase, or you can make your own with this tutorial.

4. Bed Ice Packs

When I was abroad in Georgia, my host mother taught me this trick, which I should’ve figured out long before. Get an ice pack and freeze it so that it’s ready by the time you’re heading to bed. Place it under the sheets at the foot of the bed, or wherever you feel would be most beneficial. I definitely recommend this tip!

5. Take A Cold Shower Before Bed

Most doctors don’t recommend taking a shower with only cold water, so make the water tepid for most of the duration. Turn the temperature to cold for about 15 seconds right before stepping out. This way you’ve got a head start on beating the heat before slipping into bed. Showering before bed is a good idea in general because, especially in the summer, it rinses away all the sweat lingering on your body. And no one wants to crawl into a bed feeling sticky and sweaty!

6. Have Fun With Water!

Invite some friends over, set up a sprinkler or slip n’ slide, and have some fun in the water! Socializing, cooling off, and acting like a kid makes for a great distraction! If you want to have even more fun with it, fill up a lot of water balloons or water guns and play tag! You’ll be having so much fun, you’ll forget how hot it is. For a post-water treat: Popsicles!

Do you have any secrets to staying cool in the summer? Share with us in the comments, or let us know how our suggestions have worked for you!

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